It’s an inspiration. Get local coverage, extensive local coverage, for your publication by enlisting local citizens to write for you! Without pay!
I actually have some experience with citizen journalism. Forty years ago, during the summers in high school that I worked for the Gazette in Flemingsburg, Ky., as reporter, columnist, copy editor, proofreader, circulation clerk, Addressograph operator, receptionist and dogsbody*, it fell to me to edit the country correspondence.
The country correspondence was a compilation of social notes and innocuous gossip compiled by a corps of ladies from the various communities in the county. The social notes, often devoted largely to the comings and goings of the correspondents themselves and their relations, arrived in the mail, handwritten on copy paper. And I edited them. Editing is a euphemism. I Englished them.
One of the country correspondents, whom we kept in our pages only briefly before she was drawn into the gravitational pull of the daily paper in the next county, was Mrs. Alma Price. She was a peach. Mrs. Price had a style at once so distinctive and so entertaining that any decent regard for the reader required that her texts be allowed to run verbatim, without interference by an editor.
To give you a taste of the joys that citizen journalism can present, I offer a sampling of Mrs. Price’s work, as published. I have the clippings.
It remains to explain that the community from which Mrs. Price wrote was, in one of those little coincidences that the cosmos loves, called Slipup. Herewith, some of the Slipup News. Enjoy.
Mrs. Hazel Dillon always thinking of others, has given a new clock to the Bethel Church. Our “thanks” goes out to her as we have really been missing the old clock, as a electrical storm had gotten rid of our old one last fall.
Donald Lee Lennix, Jr., a former resident of Maysville and visiting Maysville again. He first came back on May 18 and had a reunion for him.
Mrs. Nancy Gifford has had a busy week making the ladies beautiful for Easter. Mrs. Dale Cracraft is her assistant. Has started giving manicures and pedicures. Those are your toenails. Her shop located on Johnson Lane has a booming business.
Miss Lena Cooper of Clark Street and her husband Emmitt Asdon and wife visited her daughter, Mrs. Gladys Hill and husband of Covington last weekend and Mrs. Emma Mae Cooper visited her daughter Ruth Ann Bradford.
On March 2 Mr. and Mrs. Jim Pfeffer had their birthdays, our mailman and his wife.
Mr. John M. Stanton of Sardis went to Florida in February for 10 days. He was accomplised by Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Turner who lives on his place. On his return he visits Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Hill with his goodies such as tomatoes, oranges, strawberries and grape fruit. He gave them these things. The Hill’s were just getting over the flu. They visited many places of interest. Also visit Mr. Harry Myers who is ill and his wife.
*Dogsbody, British slang for menial worker or drudge.